MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"
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MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"

May 16, 2001

One family's life in exile tells the story of every dispossessed people. Traumatic memories of the 'disaster' fuel dreams of a return from exile.

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 5/16: Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of what the Israelis believe was the start of their independence and the Palestinians believe was the start of their ongoing and tortuous "disaster", the "nakba". Tragically it appears there are more disasters still ahead, maybe forever compounding the original mistakes now made half a century ago. Robert Fisk took the opportunity of the anniversary of the "nakba" to visit some of those most suffering from it in a refugee camp outside of Beirut.

Meanwhile the Israeli army continues to target journalists as well as Palestinian activists cooperating with Israeli protest groups. A French journalist would have been killed yesterday but for his protective bullet-proof vest. Palestinian Issa Naef Abd-ElRaheem Souf, shot in cold bood as the Israeli army does increasingly, is in critical condition.

ARAFAT DEFIANT AS WAVE OF BLOODSHED STAINS "DISASTER DAY"
By Robert Fisk in Mar Elias camp, Beirut

[The Independent - 16 May]

There was an awful irony about Ruqiya Haj Hassan's 53rd birthday yesterday. Her people's nakba had already begun on 15 May 1948 and she was to spend only two months of her life in the land she still calls Palestine. Her parents were to tell her, years later, of just how terribly the Palestinian "disaster" struck them down.

Walking day and night out of their land, Ruqiya's family lost their way in the hills of Galilee. Demented and ravenous with hunger, they left her behind in a cave, only finding her again three days later almost dead of thirst. Two of her small sisters, Arabia and Zakia, died on the road.

"Even my brother died later, killed in an Israeli air raid here in Lebanon in 1982," Ruqiya says. "My father went back to the West Bank and visited our village of Shaab again when another sister of mine who had stayed behind was married.

"At the marriage he had a heart attack and died and so, in the end, he was buried in his home village in Palestine."

The old are dying out, of course, and the memories with them. It took all of 15 minutes in the little refugee camp of Mar Elias in the centre of Beirut to find a man who remembered the nakba. Hussein Abdul Razek was 11 when his family fled Palestine. His story is that of every dispossessed people.

"Our village was called Amca but the Israelis came and we fled to Tarshiha in Acre," he remembers. "Then we set off by foot northwards with many other Palestinians, to Farsouta, the last place I remember in Palestine. I recall how thirsty I was all the time. All I wanted was water. We crossed into Lebanon, travelled through Jouaya and got to Tyre, just walking, walking."

Exhausted after their exodus, the Razek family -- Hussein had three brothers and three sisters found their only shelter in a railway freight car.

"While we were sleeping in it someone attached a steam locomotive to the train and it headed north with us inside, all the way to Tripoli. When we got there, we walked to the nearest Palestinian camp at Nahr el-Bared. Years later, we moved down to Beirut and lived in the Chatila camp.

"We had all our land ownership papers then; British documents that proved the land in Amca was ours, even the key to our house in the village. In the camps war in 1987 (between Palestinians and the Lebanese Shia Muslim Amal militia), they were all lost when our house was destroyed."

Hussein's memories of "Palestine" remain vivid. "I remember a school trip to Acre and seeing the great mosque and the gate of the city," he says. "And I remember our land at the end of the village of Amca, our fig trees and the cactus in our field."

Hussein's wife, Fatmi, was only two years old in 1948 but, after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, she was able to return for just a month to visit cousins who had stayed behind after the birth of Israel. "My uncle met me on the border and he called my name at once even though he hadn't seen me for 35 years.

"I loved that village of ours. I wanted to be a bird and fly back there afterwards."

HOW THE ISRAELIS SHOT A PALESTINIAN
[Today a demonstration to protest this shooting is being held by Israel peace activists and supporters outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv]

This morning, May 15, 2001, Issa Naef Abd-ElRaheem Souf, 30 years of age, wasshot in the chest by Israeli army units. He is now in critical condition inRefidia hospital at Nablus. He was apparently shot intentionally in aprearranged action by the Israeli army.

Issa Souf, the brother of Nawwaf Souf, lives in the village of Hares in theSalfit region, and, like his brother, is active in Israeli and Palestiniancooperation in the struggle against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. On Saturday he took part in a Jewish Arab non-violent act of protest at Salfit, when Jewish and Arab Israeli activists led a convoy of food and solidarity to the villages of Marda and Qiri in the Salfit region.

Below is the testimony given us orally by Nawwaf Souf, a central activist,regarding the shooting of his brother:

The brother of Nawwaf and 'Issa owns a carpentry at the entrance to Hares.He saw an army unit approaching. He phoned Issa to gather all the childrenin the neighborhood and take them home. A few minutes later he spoke to himagain on the phone, and Issa said he had been shot, and was injured. Thebrother started running toward's Issa's home, but was met by soldiers, whoshot shock-grenades at him. One soldier then aimed an M-16 at his head,while other soldiers aimed guns at passers-by, in order to stop them fromreaching Issa. Someone phoned Nawwaf, who contacted the DCO and theauthorities, begging them to allow an ambulance through to evacuate Issa.They finally allowed Issa to be taken to Refidia hospital at Nablus, incritical condition. He was shot in the chest.

Ta'ayush and other activists and human rights organizations will expresstheir shock and deep disgust, and condemn this shooting, which threatens thefragile hope for a future of true justice and peace between Israelis andPalestinians, Arabs and Jews.


May 2001


Magazine



FEISAL HUSSEINI - DEAD AT 60 IN KUWAIT
(May 31, 2001)
Feisal Husseini will be buried tomorrow in Jerusalem with great circumstance. However whatever else he was, and many think he was a good and committed man, he was a fairly simple man and he certainly was not a great man.

SHARON SHOULD SURRENDER TO HISTORY
(May 25, 2001)
Like many nation states born out of war, Israel must re-evaluate its past in order to move forward, argues Mark Mazower*

THE GAZA GHETTO/PRISON
(May 25, 2001)
The "Gaza Strip" is a huge ghetto; created of course by the Israelis. In a sense it is also the largest prison in the world as the great majority of those who reside in Gaza are unable to leave and return through any of the handful of Israeli army checkposts which control who comes and goes.

APARTHEID ISRAEL
(May 24, 2001)
"There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -- not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy."

WATER WARS
(May 24, 2001)
In the end its not really the "settlements" that will determine which civilization will prosper in the once Holy Land now so fought over by the descendants of Abraham. Control and use of WATER is even more at the heart of the conflict between the two competing societies.

CONTINUE THE INTIFADA
(May 23, 2001)
It's a terrible deal for the Palestinians actually -- they expected to give up their very justifiable struggle against the occupier in exchange for another promise to "freeze settlements". Gee...it was just last year that Yasser Arafat was proclaiming ad infinitum that no matter what there would be a Palestinian State by the end of the year!

WHAT THE "MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT" REALLY SAYS
(May 23, 2001)
"Here's your lifeline Yasser, Nabil, Jabril, and all you Palestinian VIPs -- and you better grab it because it may be the last one you get".

THE MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT -- A LONG SORDID HISTORY
(May 22, 2001)
The big fix is on of course with the "Mitchell Commission Report". Other madmen desperately scampering from one TV studio to the next are "Ambassador" Dennis Ross, now back at the Israeli/Jewish lobby from whence he came, and of course Senator Mitchell, himself retired from the most pro-Israeli political body on the planet ...

ARAFAT AND THE WORLD FORCED TO DANCE TO SHARON'S WAR TUNES
(May 21, 2001)
The Israelis are pushing their lies, schemes, deceptions, and brutality more than ever these days. It's all designed of course to demoralize and confuse the Palestinians, to twist and torture them into submission.

BREAKING NEWS - RAJOUB HIT
(May 20, 2001)
Jibril Rajoub is a favorite of the CIA, the headquarters of which he has personally visited numerous times in recent years on his visits to Washington. His force is the main one trained by the CIA in order to keep the Arafat Regime in power ...

TRUE MARTYRDOM
(May 20, 2001)
Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash -- 21 and now departed -- never knew anything other than Israel's brutal military occupation. He never knew anything other than Arab "client regimes" and the Arafat "Authority". He never knew anything other than a savage Israeli army, fueled by an increasingly racist ideology, armed and financed by America.

ISRAEL - APARTHEID IN THE MIDDLE EAST
(May 20, 2001)
A little trip back in history's lane will result in all kinds of close connections between Israel and South Africa in the days of Apartheid. And during that trip one will discover that Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin were at the top of the list of those promoting those relations.

THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"
(May 19, 2001)
There are many desperate and depressed people out there these days, especially among Palestinians, their friends, and the Jewish left that is mortified to awaken to find itself with Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, the hoped for salvation of the Oslo "Peace Process" destroyed, and one of their false prophets, Shimon Peres, at Sharon's side.

SUICIDE BOMB, ISRAELI AIR STRIKES CAUSE NEW CARNAGE
(May 18, 2001)
A suicide bombing followed by retaliatory Israeli air strikes killed 16 people and injured 200 on Friday in one of the bloodiest days since a Palestinian uprising erupted nearly eight months ago.

ISRAEL'S ARMY - A NEW, PERHAPS DANGERSOUS, FREEDOM
(May 18, 2001)
TRIGGER-HAPPY troops set loose? Questions about the response of Israeli soldiers facing Palestinian demonstrators are being asked, and not just by Palestinians. But suspicions about individual behaviour are less relevant than the clear fact that the army, given its head by Ariel Sharon, has made a deliberate decision ...

SEVEN KILLED, OVER 50 INJURED IN SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK
(May 18, 2001)
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall in the center of the coastal town of Netanya at around 11.30 A.M on Friday morning. Seven people were killed in the blast, one of them most likely the bomber himself.

ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE
(May 17, 2001)
The Israelis are more and more specifically targeting children, journalists, and Palestinians at all levels. The goal is to create such fear, such intimidation, such apprehension, that ...

MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"
(May 16, 2001)
Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of what the Israelis believe was the start of their independence and the Palestinians believe was the start of their ongoing and tortuous "disaster", the "nakba".

"SCHOLARS, INTELLECTUALS, EXPERTS BETRAY THEIR VOCATIONS..." - MER FLASHBACK
(May 15, 2001)
The recent orgy of 'activism' surrounding the new "Har Homa" settlement has given 'peace groups' and various Arab Americans groups something to do again.

THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW
(May 15, 2001)
It's 53 years now since Palestine was fractured, a Jewish State was born, the Palestinian refugee crisis created. There were warnings from both Arab and Jewish leaders what would result if a "Jewish State" were declared when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948.

NO JUNITY, NO ALLIES, NO FUTURE
(May 14, 2001)
Let's get right to the bottom line here first. Those American Jews, and whoever else for that matter have been looking to what is called "JUNITY" (that's "Jewish Unity For a Just Peace" so they say) ...

AN AFFRONT TO CIVILISATION
(May 13, 2001)
I was on my way to Khan Yunis, a desperately poor Palestinian refugee town in the Gaza Strip, when we learned it was under heavy bombardment. Please, urged my Palestinian guides, could I postpone my visit to the next day?

IN MEMORY OF PROF. CHARLES BLACK
(May 12, 2001)
"Against hugh odds...they decline to submit, and instead go out on the streets and pick up stones. They are beaten without let or mercy. They are imprisoned under obscene conditions, after kangaroo trials, or no trials at all.

THREATENING WRITERS AND MORE ASSASSINATIONS
(May 12, 2001)
Of course what the Israelis are doing in so many areas to many classes of people is dastardly and deserves widespread condemnation. The first article details what the Israelis are doing to Palestinian writers who are citizens of Israel; the second to Palestinian activists who are struggling against Israel's occupation.

HASHEMITE COLLUSION AND REPRESSION
(May 11, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime of King Abdullah the Second is running more and more scared; and for good reason. After all, the collusion of this regime with the Israelis, going way back to the beginning of the conflict...

MAHMOUD DARWISH ON 53RD NAKBA ANNIVERSARY
(May 11, 2001)
Next Tuesday, 15 May, is the 53rd Anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba, the "Disaster", and what the Israelis call their Independence. In a very unusual move some 250 Arab Professors and Intellectuals have issued a call for their own countries to finally join in a serious way the Palestinian struggle.

FROM HERZL TO SHARON - STEALTH DISPOSSESSION
(May 10, 2001)
"The removal of Arabs bodily from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan to 'spirit the penniless population across the frontier' by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

THE POLITICAL PROSTITUTION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN PALESTINE
(May 10, 2001)
We're talking here about political prostitution; for it too is an age-old profession and it too leads to many other vices.

THE POPE GOES VISITING
(May 9, 2001)
With the creation of a "Jewish State" in the Holy Land, in a sense a new era began twisting the modern-day concept of nationality back to one of ethnic and religious identification.

FROM HELL WITH LOVE
(May 8, 2001)
Ironically, in the early years of this ignoble "Peace Process", Dr. Sarraj himself -- a dignified psychiatrist and recipient of the Physician for Human Rights Award -- was arrested three times, tortured, and threatened with death...not by the Israelis but by the forces of the Arafat "Palestinian Authority".

ISRAELIS SEE THROUGH GLOSS OF LIFE AMID ORANGE GROVES
(May 7, 2001)
When the real estate sharks of California began to coax Americans to Los Angeles early in the last century, they stuck oranges on the trees to make the desert more alluring. The oranges are real enough in the groves on the hills around Jerusalem, but the hard selling is just the same.

WE ARE ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
(May 7, 2001)
The incomparable Nizar Qabbani was buried in Damascus earlier this week. "We Are Accused Of Terrorism" was one of his last poems first published a year ago; key excerpts from that poem follow.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR - Part II
(May 4, 2001)
Previously we outlined how the regimes-sponsored Arab American establishment, using the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to try to control everyone as usual...

SHARON'S RISE TO THE PINNACLE OF POWER - HELPED BY THE ARABS THEMSELVES
(May 3, 2001)
Ariel Sharon's becoming Prime Minister of Israel didn't happen overnight. He pursued the job for a very long time and whatever one thinks of his person and policies he carried out a masterful political coup.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR
(May 3, 2001)
The worst thing that happened to the people of the Middle East in recent history was the imposition on them by the Western powers of the "Client Regimes" -- those who read MER regularly know what we are talking about...

ARAB REGIMES COWER AND BEG; ISRAELIS CONTINUE TO KILL AND DESTROY
(May 2, 2001)
Shimon Peres runs around the world, especially to the gullible American media, and especially to CNN and PBS, with soothing rhetorical jibberish while his Generals further demolish Palestinian homes making fools of those who believed in the "Oslo Peace Process" and its associated "agreements".

FORMER SHIN BET HEAD TALKS SOME SENSE IN PUBLIC....BUT WHY?
(May 2, 2001)
Motives are of course a very important aspect of life and politics...as is timing. And when it comes to someone who has been head of the Shin Bet, like Ami Ayalon, and who is saying these things now, at this particular crucial and sensitive time, there are good reasons to have many suspicions, and many questions, and many doubts.

EXTINGUISHING THE INTIFADA
(May 2, 2001)
A major effort is underway to somehow smother and snuff out the Intifada, one way or another. Those heading up the effort, in order of importance, are:

ARAFAT'S FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE THE INTIFADA BEGAN
(May 1, 2001)
Yasser Arafat often describes his struggle as a "long march" to the "spires and minarets" of Jerusalem, capital of his Palestinian state-to-be.




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